Off topic: Humans will continue subtitling for a while
Thread poster: José Henrique Lamensdorf

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Apr 30, 2012

A while ago I wrote an article in Portuguese and published it on my web site. It is one of the few there I didn't translate into English, because I couldn't find an equivalent sample of a PT>EN video translation for subtitles done by an amateur to include there. (Suggestions are welcome!)

I start by describing the video producers/distributors' dream: the possibility of passing the video through some speech-to-text converting sofware, and then putting the output through machine translation, so they could have an entire video subtitled for free.

Of course it wasn't because of my article, but YouTube is trying to do it, with results that can draw roaring laughter from the gruffest individual.

Try this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwaBB6ASnsw , however click on the CC button (just below the video screen) and enable "Transcribe audio" (or whatever comes up for that purpose in your language). It's absolutely hilarious what software understands from human speech. After you are through, catch your breath for a second round of laughter, and enable "Translate subtitles" (or whatever...), which will let you select machine translation into any language you select on that list, and watch it again.

This is evidence that humans will have to intervene in video translation for quite a while - maybe forever - before machines can do it on their own... without turning virtually anything into comedy.


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:39
English to German
+ ...
Just joined the wax! Apr 30, 2012

Thanks, José.

 

Rafael Mondini Bueno  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:39
English to Portuguese
Simply brilliant Apr 30, 2012

Thanks a lot for the fun, José!

 

Silvia Zele
Slovenia
Local time: 20:39
Slovenian to English
+ ...
International ban lifted sheep May 1, 2012

Great! Thanks for this. Laughed right at the start when I was surprised by the introductory welcome to the 'International ban lifted sheep'.

 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, Google, as usual May 1, 2012

Youtube is trying to do this with Google's technology, the same my son has on his Android, which could not even understand a simple "Thank you" and transcribed it with "Yank you"icon_smile.gif

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Serious gets funnier May 1, 2012

I tried it with Rowan Atkinson's "Hell" on YouTube, and the transcription/translation was not as funny as this presentation of the dermatology clinic. So it seems that the more serious the presentation, the funnier the automatic subtitling will be.

 

Back to basics
Brazil
Local time: 16:39
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thank you for sharing this! May 1, 2012

Where can I sign up to get an "allah diploma"?

At least there was a warning that it was a beta version...but even so; I would be ashamed to release such a version, beta or not.

Outrageously funny, though!


 

Back to basics
Brazil
Local time: 16:39
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Just an idea... May 1, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I tried it with Rowan Atkinson's "Hell" on YouTube, and the transcription/translation was not as funny as this presentation of the dermatology clinic. So it seems that the more serious the presentation, the funnier the automatic subtitling will be.


Could this be a new and, so far, untapped source for comedians? Plenty of "very serious" speeches available as raw material for funny sketches!


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:39
French to English
+ ...
BBC does this even on Live material... May 1, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
I start by describing the video producers/distributors' dream: the possibility of passing the video through some speech-to-text converting sofware, and then putting the output through machine translation, so they could have an entire video subtitled for free.


The BBC not only thinks it's a good idea to use speech recognition software for subtitling, but it thinks it's a good idea to use it on LIVE material. With predictably hilarious cock-ups fairly regularly.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/media/news/a344729/bbc-criticised-by-deaf-groups-over-subtitling-errors.html

P.S. You should see this analysis of the problem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuB14OR5Ct0

Poor poor BBC...


[Edited at 2012-05-01 15:26 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-01 15:32 GMT]


 


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Humans will continue subtitling for a while

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